Web Development

How Node.js Framework Boosts PayPal’s Performance – Case Study

Node.js Development Company

JavaScript or Node.js in particular, have long been praised for the high performance, rapid development, easy customization and dynamic perks it adds in the field of web and app development. The Node.js framework has come up as a preferred choice for various businesses requiring high-performance customer-facing apps and business websites. Owing to the various perks of Node.js web application development, the framework is recently employed by various organisations like NASA, Netflix, GoDaddy and PayPal, etc.


NOTE: The article gives you a deep insight of Why has PayPal switched to Node.js and How Node.js Framework is Empowering PayPal.

So, here we bring you the experience of Jeff Harrell (Director of Engineering and Chief Architect at PayPal) while migrating PayPal to Node.js:

Why has PayPal switched to Node.js from Java?


PROBLEM: According to Jeff Harrell, the development team at PayPal was previously divided into two segments – One who code on the browser side, while the other used to code on the server or application layer. The coding on the browser side was done in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, while the coding on the application layer was done using Java. This practice according to him was too old school and was hindering the productivity of the developers along with the performance of the application.

SOLUTION: Targeting the above problem, Node.js was chosen as a preferred solution as it allows the developers to write code in JavaScript on both the browser and server side, thus enhancing their productivity. Moreover, the modular design of Node.js also helps the developers to meet the user requirements in an agile and flexible manner. This was a contrast to the monolithic application development process of Java.

How Node.js Framework is Empowering PayPal


Convinced by the perks of Node.js Development, Jeff Harrell employed the framework for PayPal’s account overview page and a major high-traffic application on the PayPal website. With this, he mitigated the risk of loss of investment by employing a parallel application development process using Java. This experiment of parallel application development on Node.js and Java also allowed them to draw a comparison between the two platforms.

Rapid Development Process With Node.js Development Framework

PayPal started their experiment in January 2013 and it took the company a few months to develop the required infrastructure for employing Node.js application development, that included – sessions, keystores, centralized logging, etc. Meanwhile, five Java developers started working on the Java application. Over 2 months in Java application development, a small team of  Node.js developers started working on the similar Node.js application.

As according to Jeff Harrell’s expectations, the development stages met at a crossroads in the first week of June, both the Java and Node.js version of the PayPal application by now had the same functionalities, even though the Node.js development process was started at a delay of two months and with a smaller team.

The Node.js Application was built twice as fast with more than half the number of resourcesas compared to the Java Application.
The Node.js Application was written in 33% Fewer Lines of Code as compared to the Java version of the app.
The Node.js version of the App was constructed with 40% fewer file as compared to the Java Application.


Witnessing these observations PayPal decided to go with Node.js web application development and owing to the easy adaptability of the Node.js framework they were happy to enhance their productivity by moving their Java resources to Node.js development.

2)    Experiment 2: Performance Test of Node.js Application

To witness the performance statistics of Node.js applications, PayPal conducted an experiment to compare the performance capabilities of Java and Node.js based Apps.

High-Performance Capabilities of Node.js Web Applications

PayPal used two applications with exactly the same set of functionalities and developed in-house by the same team. One application was built using Java, while the other was based on the Node.js framework.

The Performance Test was conducted using a production hardware that collected the data on Response Time and Throughput of the applications.


Node.js Application witnessed more than double the requests per second as compared to the Java application.
Node.js App featured 35% lower response time as compared to the Java app.
Node.js pages were served 200ms faster than the Java based application.


Impressed by the performance, rapid development, ubiquity, and high flexibility perks of the Node.js framework, PayPal has actively migrated to Node.js development. Almost all customer facing web applications of PayPal are now based on Node.js development framework and Jeff Harrell recommends Node.js for your web or app development requirements.


Node.js framework surely holds a great credit in PayPal’s success and is inevitably the best framework for your eCommerce website development goals or other high-performance B2C and B2B application development goals that need to be integrated with secure payment gateways.

Read Out Top Reason To Choose Node.js Web Application Development

So, if you wish to migrate your existing business websites or apps to dynamic Node.js web applications or mobile apps, or if you want to develop superlative Node.js business website or applications, our well-experienced Node.js developers at Endive Software would be delighted to help you.

Ajay Goyal
About author

Ajay Goyal is the founder of Endive Software, is the leading IT Company based on India. He works dedicatedly with the clients to give industry-based results. His passion for learning the trending technology aids the team members to introduce unique and brainstorming. He runs development services like mobile app development and web development for enterprises and startups.
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